Updated: April 5, 2014, 3:57 PM ET
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
A week ago, John Elway said a contract extension for Denver Broncos coach John Fox was “the next thing on the agenda” for the team.
On Friday, Elway showed he means what he says as the team’s top decision-maker.
The Broncos and Fox agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension that essentially tears up the final year of his original deal — the 2014 season — and now runs through 2016, the team announced Saturday.
Sources said the extension was “fair” to both sides and puts Fox among the league’s best-paid coaches. It is also the last big loose end the Broncos have on the contract front, with Elway having signed his own extension earlier this offseason to go with all of the team’s free agent activity.
“We are pleased to reach this agreement with John Fox, who has played a key role in the success and improvement of the Broncos during the last three seasons,” Elway said in a statement released Saturday. “While our team has made progress each year under Coach Fox, we both understand that there is still work to be done for us to reach our ultimate goal.
“Having continuity at the head coaching position is critical in building a championship team, and John Fox is an important part of our foundation as we move forward.”
Fox’s representatives and the Broncos’ brass talked at the NFL scouting combine in February. Elway said at the league meetings in Orlando, Fla., last week that he expected to get a deal done for Fox soon.
Fox signed a four-year contract worth an average of approximately $3 million a year when the Broncos hired him in 2011. He would have received a $1 million bonus had the Broncos won Super Bowl XLVIII last month, but Denver was bullied, 43-8, by the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks announced coach Pete Carroll’s own three-year extension Friday.
Fox is 34-14 in regular-season games with the Broncos, with three consecutive AFC West titles. The Broncos, with Peyton Manning at quarterback, have entered the last two seasons as the Super Bowl favorites only to lose in double overtime to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round to close out the 2012 season and then to the Seahawks in February.
Fox is 3-3 in postseason games with the Broncos.
This past season he missed four weeks after undergoing open-heart surgery to replace a valve. He was born with the defect in the old valve and has consistently said since his return he feels “better than I have in 20 years” and that he wants to keep coaching.
Fox turned 59 in February.
When asked about the negotiations for his contract last week, Fox said, “Really I’m going to coach my rear end off no matter what happens. That’s in people’s hands and I feel confident something will happen. But either way I’m going to be fine, I’m under contract … They’re talking and working on it … Everybody’s got good intentions, we’ll see where it goes.” Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Boardof Selectors since 1999